Saturday, March 29, 2014

Six Goal Outburst Fuels Texas' Franchise-Record Seventh Straight Win

Hubert Labrie célèbre son deuxième but de la saison.
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The Texas Stars set a franchise-record this evening with their seventh straight win, tonight putting up six goals against the Hamilton Bulldogs. Six different Stars scored in the game.

"It's in our game plan to bring the puck to the net, be ready for rebounds," said Hubert Labrie, who had a goal, assist and a fight in the game. "Just bring the puck to the net because you never know what can happen."

Labrie was one of six players with multi-point nights. Travis Morin added two assists to become the first Texas Star in franchise history to score 80 points in a season. He leads the AHL in scoring.

The Stars were one for three on the power play and perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Cristopher Nilstorp got the start and sealed up 24 of 25 shots against him.

The Stars got off to a quick start in the first period. Travis Morin got the play started below the goal line with a pass out to Derek Hulak in the slot. Curtis McKenzie scored off the rebound of Hulak's shot, which bounced out to him clean on the right wing side. The Stars led on shots 11-1 after the goal.

Coach Willie Desjardins slid Hulak in on the first line tonight as a tryout, which he did well in.

"Hulak's got some speed, and he's a little older than guys out of junior," said Desjardins "He's a smart player and makes some good plays. I'm just trying to find a spot for him. I don't know where he'll fit in but I wanted to try him with Morin."

Patrik Nemeth continued his recent scoring streak from a new area of the ice. With a delayed penalty coming on the Bulldogs, the defenseman snuck down low on the right wing side. Brendan Ranford found the Swede for a one-timer to make it 2-0. Fellow blue liner Jyrki Jokipakka had the second assist.

"Jokipakka made a good play behind the net to see me. I was looking for something," said Ranford. "It was funny that Nemeth was back door there but 6-on-5 you're getting to the open ice as much as you can. It was a nice play by him."

By the end of the period, Texas led on shots at 20-3.

Penalty spill over from the end of the first combined with minors from both teams in the second to equal some power play time for the Stars. Matej Stransky made it count with a two-man advantage PPG, putting Texas up 3-0.

The Bulldogs caught up on shots with two power play chances in the period. They broke up the shutout bid off that momentum with Thomas putting in Hamilton's first goal of the week against Texas.

Nearly immediately, the Dowling line charged in low and generated a goal to regain the three tally advantage. Dowling slipped the puck out to Labrie at the point. Labrie blasted the puck past Tokarski with Hedden and Ritchie screening the net.

Despite not playing since March 8th, Labrie had no rust in his play. "He's always the same," said Desjardins. "Every day is the same in practice, in games. He has a lot of confidence and he's well liked on the team."

The Stars polished off the night with two more in the final frame. As time wound down, Texas found itself on the PK and Hamilton pulled Tokarski for the 6-on-4 adnvantage. It was the Stars taking the advantage though as Ranford scored his 12th of the year into the empty net shorthanded.

"I was just trying to get it down the ice. Most the time you want to get it up the ice because the guys are on the wall. It just ended up going in."

Mike Hedden finished up the night with his 22nd of the season, a nice breakaway effort with less than a minute left, which he slipped in five-hole on Tokarski. Ritchie and Nemeth assisted.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Morin-Hulak
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Ranford-Peters-Glennie
Stransky-Vause-Henderson

Oleksiak-Meech
Nemeth-Jokipakka
Labrie-Fortunus

Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Sceviour, Jeffrey, Mueller* (callup)
Wrenn, Guptill, Gaunce (scratch)
Petersen (injury)

* - Chris Mueller was assigned to Texas in the middle of the game.

Today's attendance was 5,982.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Hamilton - March 29 2014

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